Upgrading or Downgrading or are you a mere slave to Points? by Harold Schogger

Bridge hands are like stocks and shares,  some go up in value some go down in value according to the quality of your suits  and the context of the auction. Everybody likes to turn left when entering an aeroplane and the same needs to be applied at the bridge table.

Regarding suit quality having QJ32 and having QJ109  are completely different and one's thinking should be different when assessing this suit for the bidding. Both are three points but the later is well on the way to producing two tricks without much work. If invited with a middling amount of points you can now turn left and accept partner's invitation in a sequence as follows

 

 Q J 10 9

4 3

A K 10

Q 7 6

K 9 5

A 7 6 3

6 5 4

K Q 10 6
       
  1NT   2NT
  3NT turn left take your upgrade    

whereas

 Q J 3 2

8 3

A K 10

Q 7 6

K 6 5

A 7 6 3

6 5 4

K Q 10 6
       
  1NT   2NT
  Now Pass, no upgrade rewards here    

Having all your points concentrated in one suit, it augurs well  than having your points scattered

 K Q J

7 6

A Q J 9

10 7 6

7 6 5

A Q 4 3

9 5 4

K Q 10 6
       
  1NT   2NT
  3NT turn left take your upgrade    

whereas

 Q 9 3 2

4 3

A K 10

Q 7 6

K 6 5

A 7 6 3

J 5 4

K Q 10 6
       
  1NT   2NT
  Now Pass, no upgrade rewards here    

Having a FIVE CARD SUIT entitles you to upgrade your hand

 Q 9

K 4 2

A Q 10

9 7 6

K Q 9 8 6

A 7 6

9 5 

K Q 10 6
       
  1NT   2NT
  3NT turn left take your upgrade    

 Similarly when opening with a full bloodied 14 point  balanced  hand or  full bloodied 19 points

 Q 9 3

 

A K  3

A Q 10  

K 7 6

A Q 9 8 6  

A 7 6

9 5   

K Q 10 6 5
         
  Open 1 now and treat the hand as if its 15 points

turn left take your upgrade

    Open 2NT now

turn left take your upgrade

         

Bridge hands go up in value or down in value once the auction has started, much like stocks and shares changing from on a season to another, or in this situation from one bid to another.

Hands immediately go up in value once a fit is known to exist.

However once there is a misfit hands go down in value and you have to be extra careful.

Hands go up in value when both opponents are bidding same suit and you have no values in that suit (maybe a three card suit)  as partner is known to be short in that suit with no wasted values.

Hands go down in value if partner splinters in a suit in which you have KQ  as you now have wasted duplicate values- now it is more desirable to have  all your values in the other suits .

 7

 

 7

A Q 10 6  

A Q 10 6

A Q 9 8 6  

A Q 9 8 6

9 5  3  

9 5  3
         
  Partner opens 1 and your hand now goes sky high in value  and you must at least do a Splinter with 3     Same hand but this time partner opens 1

-now its missfitting and you need to be careful

         

 

K Q 6 5

 

 7

A Q 10 6 4  

A Q 10 6 4

A 9 8  

A Q 9 8

7  

9 5  3
         
  You open 1♥  and partner replies1 your hand now shoots through the ceiling and you should be jumping to 4♣ splinter     You open 1 and partner replies 1 now you need to be smelling missfitting hand so now backtrack and downgrade is in order
         

 

 

K Q 6 5             you are North

10 6 4

A Q J 9 8

7
     
      W        N            E       S
                  1♦          1♥     1  
      3♥       ?
  The value of your hand has now gone sky high with no wasted values as you can now work out that partner has no more than one card in the Heart suit because you listened to the auction

What about a Splinter sequence?

 

K Q 6

 

A 10 7

A Q 10 6 4  

K 9 5 3

A 9 8  

K Q 5 3 2

7 4 2  

9
             1              4
         
  You open 1 and partner replies 4♣ now your hand has gone through the roof and you are certainly turning left giving yourself this amazing upgrade - no wasted values     Now we want to get to the Heart slam with only 27 full bloodied working points
         

If however the hands are

J  4 2

 

A 10 7

A Q 10 6 4  

K 9 5 3

A J8  

K Q 5 3 2

K Q 6  

9
             1              4
         
  You open 1 and partner replies 4♣ now your hand has goes down in value with all those wasted Clubs opposite the known singleton     Now we have 29 points but because of the downgrading we only want to be in 4